Veteran’s widow frustrated with Santa Fe National Cemetery

Veterans Voices

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque widow is furious, after she said she’s been trying to bury her husband’s remains in the Santa Fe National Cemetery since April but she said it’s been very difficult to make those arrangements. The last seven months have been tough for Irene Dubicka who lost her beloved husband Chris, who was suffering from dementia, back in April.

“It’s been very frustrating, he suffered from dementia for a long time, he forgot a lot of things, but we didn’t forget him,” said Dubicka. She said Chris served in the navy for nearly 25 years. His final wish was to be buried at the Santa Fe National Cemetery with an upright headstone.

“My husband’s ashes are sitting here next to me in a box on the table, and that’s not what we’re prepared to do. We were prepared to bury him in a military cemetery,” said Dubicka. 

She said it’s been very difficult to get the cemetery to meet her husband’s demands. Claiming staff have told her the neighbors nearby don’t want to see upright headstones and the cemetery currently only has space for flat markers. The acting director with the cemetery told News 13 in an email no burials are being denied or delayed but say there won’t be space for upright headstones and in-ground cremations until next spring when they expand the area.

Which doesn’t sit well with Dubicka. “The VA instead is giving us a run around with some noncommittal deadlines,” said Dubicka.   

Dubicka doesn’t believe she’s asking for much and just wants to lay her husband to rest in Santa Fe just as he wanted. “We don’t want to win any cars, we don’t want free meals on Veterans Day, we would just like to bury Chris’ ashes with an upright headstone,” Dubicka.

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